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The Importance Of the Individual

Tami Richards, Contributing Author

he April 29, 2009 issue of the Journal Of Clinical Oncology ran an editorial which stated that the United States will experience an upsurge of cancer cases in the next 20 years. The figures are expected to rise from 1.6 million cases of cancer in 2010 to 2.3 million cases in 2030. The elderly and minorities are expected to encounter the biggest increase.

If a person were to read the entire article, it would be noted that the ending statements boast of the government’s plan to make health care available to all.

I do not, personally, believe that the government is out to save my life. NOT that I have been diagnosed with cancer (though, I do see myself as being one of the 2.3 million cases of 2030). I believe that it is the private sector that is out for my best interest, simply because of Susan G. Koman.

Can you think of anything that the government has successfully accomplished concerning breast cancer? No. But I'm sure that you know what the government has accomplished by investing in the treatment of prostate cancer. The fatality rate for both is declining, breast cancer because of individuals like you and me; prostate cancer, in large part, because of government funding.*

So, as a woman, I don't want to depend on a government that ignores my needs.

Sure, I can talk big now, while I'm cancer-free. What if I need cancer treatment and can't get it? I wonder if it will be painful. I wonder if the treatment is more painful than the disease? I don't know whether it is or not, but I'm pretty sure that life is dangerous; no one has ever gotten out alive.

Back to the issue of a government which creates dependents. Far-fetched, you say? What are some of the known contributors to cancer? Tobacco, obesity, hormone therapy, and alcohol abuse, just to name a few. Actually in the 1920's in the US, the cancer rate was unbelievably low compared to the current numbers:

Given the fact that there were plenty of smokers, alcoholics, and obese persons in the US during that time, the tendency to single out these factors as the single culprits in the spread of cancer seems rather asinine when the only actual difference between the 1920's era and the year 2010 is the level of hormone-like substances that we encounter on a daily basis in our culture.

Another question is, who funds all these tests that tell us the causes of cancer?

Private sector testing may indeed have their own agenda, and certainly may themselves skew the results to fit their own best interest, but does that make the government testing more reliable? After all, the government seeks its own job security as its bottom line. I’m not suggesting that the government is responsible for dumping hormone-like substances by the truck-loads into our waterways and into our hygiene products. Does, though, the government deliberately seek out persons who “need” government assistance via food stamp benefits, whereby the recipients make poor food choices and become dangerously overweight?

The article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology may be one of many which concludes that the government is needed in order to protect us from becoming a nation of cancer sufferers in the future. I, on the other hand, believe that it is up to the American people to take control of the problem head-on. We need to become more aware of the products we use and the hazards they could cause our systems. We need to discuss toxins, chemicals, and hormones with our friends and neighbors. We need to be responsible and aware so that we do not become dependent on the entity proclaimed by George Orwell to be, “Big Brother.”

*Simply an observation on my part.


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